Kitchen Fire Prevention

English Factsheet

cooking fire safety - ENGLISH - factsheet

Spanish Factsheet

cooking fire safety - SPANISH - factsheet


Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home fires and fire injuries. Unattended cooking is a factor in one-third of reported home cooking fires. Two-thirds of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.

The kitchen is a place where most families gather, and cooking is a large part of most festivities. To keep you and your family safe, here are a few safety tips to follow:

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
  • Always stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Never pour water on a grease fire; turn off the stove and cover the pan with a lid or close the oven door.
  • If your clothing should catch fire, immediately stop, drop, cover your face, and roll to smother flames.
  • It’s wise to have a fire extinguisher near the kitchen. Keep it 10-feet away from the stove on the exit side of the kitchen.
  • Clean the exhaust hood and duct over the stove regularly and wipe up spilled grease as soon as the surface of the stove is cool.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, or curtains — away from your stovetop.
  • Keep kitchen appliances clean and in good condition.
  • Scalds and burn injuries are on the rise, and the highest risks are the very young and the elderly.
  • Keep pot handles on the stove pointing to the back and always watch young children in the kitchen.
  • Hot grease causes severe burns. Avoid using deep fat fryers around children. Never mix water with grease or oil.
  • Keep children a safe distance from hot liquids and cooking surfaces. 


When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.

If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out. Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled. For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. 


Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day, the day before Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas Eve.